Hi folks, thanks to those who messaged informing us of our campaign's anniversary. Back on November 21st 2014 you folks helped ensure there was a future for Captain Frank Lee English and the rest of the SPIFFING crew. Alas, this significant date totally passed us by as (I assure you!) we are hard at work completing the adventure game you generously backed!
November 2015 was a hectic month, almost on power with November 2014 (or indeed November 2013, of which we don't speak)! I still have loads of emails I haven't had a chance to respond to going all the way back to Paris Games Week at the end of October, on top of that it's the time of the year that we typically have some accounting and administrative tasks that need addressing. However, amongst all this noise we have still managed to do some actual development, a snippet of which I'd like to share with you below!
The Great Outdoors
I know that in our last update I promised that we'd share with you a tour of the revamped lower deck of the HMSS Imperialise, but before that (in the interest of variety) here is a short video of Captain English and Aled outside enjoying some fresh compressed air!
Forgive the choppy frame rate (this footage was captured on an old Macbook Air), that and it's obviously very much a work in progress! But, nonetheless, we thought you'd appreciate seeing our protagonists in a slightly different local.
While our decorating isn't quite finished indoors yet here is a tour of the lower deck. We intend to work a bit more on these environments, add a bit more clutter, intractable objects and spruce up the lighting. However you should notice additions such as new particle effects and fluid shaders missing from previous iterations. Again, forgive me, I've had to record this on the same laptop and a couple of textures have went missing! We'll get some nice polished shots of downstairs in a future update.
Under the Hood
Both Ryan and Paul have been hard at work tweaking things that aren't typically front and centre when it comes to these updates. However, after a very long time we now have a fully functional save system that has some cool UI features such as taking a screenshot of your current position (that'll be added it to your save slot) and being able to display your story progress along with a reminder description of what the current crisis is that demands your attention.
Ryan has also been working on another mini-game, this one giving players the chance to take the Beagle Two-Too out for a test drive.
We'll record a video of that and share it with you in our next update.
As I've mentioned before HMS has grown somewhat bigger than what was our original plan back in November 2013. I took some time out of the office this month to write additional dialogue for the new features and story elements that we've been working into the game. These have since been recorded and edited, now young Daniel and Matt are shouldering the bulk of the lipsync work to get these looking as good as they sound ingame.
From a development point of view it can be tricky judging whether new features are going to be worthwhile or if the extra work involved to include them will negatively impact the project. Feature creep is something that creative folk are always guilty of and has the real possibility of running a promising project into the ground.
Rest assured that we're on top of things! We're aware of the limits and what our small team is capable of (particularly given the meagre budget we've been working with). However one of the great advantages of a small team is how much more efficient people can be without the bureaucracy of a larger studio, which is why sometimes small teams can produce great things... They can also produce terrible things, we're aiming for the former! ;P
The festive season can be tough for project creators given folks typically don't have just as much income to spare, however do check out these two projects if you haven't already.
The guys at Rad Sandwich are developing an interesting first person adventure game involving the adorable pairing of a talking dog and the ghost of the world's greatest (deceased, obviously) teenage detective. They've an interesting Reality TV hook, check out their campaign here or their pitch below for more info.
As John Cleese would say, now for something completely different. The chaps developing Blacksea Odyssey were in touch to share their campaign, this colourful, topdown, fantasy space shooter is close to being funded but could do with a little more help. Swing by their campaign page and check out their demo to see if it floats your star destroyer.
That's it, I'm spent, we'll have more news for you soon! Thanks as ever for all your ongoing support, if you want do leave us some feedback or ask questions post in the comments.